Holidays in France: what you need to know

To allow you to explore or re-explore France safely, tourism professionals are working hard to put relevant and effective health measures in place. Here's an overview.

Inter-regional travel in France has been permitted since 3 May. This is an opportunity to (re)discover France, its heritage, landmarks and villages, but also its coastline, beaches, mountains and lush countryside whatever the season.

Visit the French government website for the latest updates here (External link) .

Also read our dedicated Covid-19 article.

Transport

There are currently no transport restrictions, but from the beginning of August, the health pass (External link) will be extended to air, rail and coach travel for long-distance journeys.

In stations and on board trains, wearing a mask is compulsory. Cleaning is being stepped up on trains, at stations and in shops. The SNCF is also adapting its packages in order to offer passengers greater flexibility.

Wearing a surgical mask is also compulsory at airports and on board aircraft (note that cloth masks are prohibited). It is recommended that you check with the airline you are flying with to find out what health measures are in force.

Hand sanitiser is available at stations and airports and travellers are required to respect social distancing whenever possible in boarding lounges, on platforms, etc.

It is perfectly possible to travel by carsharing, provided that a few rules and recommendations are observed, such as the compulsory wearing of masks for passengers aged 11 and over and for the driver. It is also recommended not to exceed two passengers in the rear seats. One passenger may sit in the front. The driver is advised to disinfect the affected surfaces and to air the vehicle regularly. These simple actions will limit transmission of the virus during journeys.

On board buses and coaches, as on all public transport, it is compulsory for all passengers over the age of 11 to wear a mask. Bus operators have put in place measures such as disinfecting vehicles, providing hand sanitiser, closing toilets and limiting passenger movement during the journey.

Air France (External link)
SNCF (External link)
Paris airports (External link)

Accommodation

Hotels, guesthouses, campsites and other group accommodation are now open without restrictions across the country.

Since May 2020, strict health protocols (reinforced in October 2020) have been in place in hotels and restaurants in order to receive holidaymakers safely. Many professionals have also called on certification bodies to attest to the proper application of these measures, spearheaded by Accorhotels and Bureau Veritas.

Erecting plexiglass screens in common areas and keeping a tally of the number of people present in a specific place at any one time are additional hygiene measures taken by French accommodation to ensure that everyone has a safe holiday.

Restaurants in hotels, tourist residences and campsites have been open again since 19 May.

It is recommended that you contact individual establishments to find out about access to wellness areas, swimming pools, spas and other shared facilities.

Campsite and leisure park sector: official health protocols (French only) (External link)

Restaurants

Restaurants and cafés are open. From the beginning of August, the health pass (External link) will be extended to cafés and restaurants.

Hotel, café and restaurant sector: official health protocols (French only) (External link)


Shops and shopping centres

All shops can open. From the beginning of August, the health pass (External link) will be extended to shopping centres.

Shopping sector: official health protocols (French only) (External link)


Natural sites

French beaches are open unless the local prefecture decides otherwise. You can also access lakes and other waterways. Static activities seaside or lakeside are allowed. You can still jog, swim, paddle or surf, but you can also sunbathe or read.

Finally, parks, gardens and other green spaces in urban areas are open and accessible, subject to health regulations. Gatherings of more than 10 people are currently prohibited.


Cultural sites

Cultural venues are open. Since 21 July, the health pass (External link) has applied to all leisure and cultural venues with a capacity of over 50.

Anyone aged 18 and over must show proof of full vaccination, a negative PCR test result less than 48 hours old or proof of recovery from Covid to access these venues and events.

Nightclubs were permitted to reopen on 9 July with specific protocols (External link) .


Events

A health pass is compulsory for leisure and cultural venues with a capacity of over 50. This applies to both indoor and outdoor events.

Anyone aged 18 and over must show proof of full vaccination, a negative PCR test result less than 48 hours old or proof of recovery from Covid to access these venues and events.

It is recommended that you contact the event organiser to confirm the dates and specific arrangements for the event.


River cruises

Cruise companies and pleasure boat hire companies are also putting health protocols in place to ensure safe cruising. It is recommended that you contact the operators to check their conditions.

As a reminder, the French river and canal network extends to over 8,500km. It's a fantastic playground!

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